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Contact information
For information on this page, contact:
Shaili Pfeiffer
Water Use Section
Bureau of Drinking and Groundwater
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921
Phone number: 608-267-7630

Water use administrative rules

To implement the Great Lakes Compact and associated statewide water use regulations, the department must draft administrative rules in several areas. The following rules are in various stages of development. Under each rule heading you will find information on the rule, the current status and department contact information.

Rules in effect

NR 850 - Water use fees

Rule: NR 850, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR]

  • Effective January 1, 2011
  • State statute sets a base fee of $125 annually for anyone with a water supply system (e.g. well or surface water withdrawal) with the capacity to withdraw an average of 100,000 gallons per day in any 30–day period. The rule implements an additional Great Lakes basin-specific fee on persons who withdraw more than 50 million gallons of water per year.
  • This rule includes a small business fee cap [PDF].
  • Rule overview: Water Use Fees Factsheet [PDF]
  • Wis. Stats. s. 281.346(12) [exit DNR]

Contact: Chris Fuchsteiner

NR 852 - Water conservation and water use efficiency

Rule: NR 852, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR]

Contact: Bob Smail

NR 856 - Water use registration and reporting

Rule: NR 856, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR]

Contact for registration: Chris Fuchsteiner
Contact for reporting: Bob Smail

NR 860 - Water use permitting

Rule: NR 860, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR]

Contact: Nicki Clayton

Rules in development

NR 854 - Water supply service area plans

Current status: Incorporating changes resulting from public comment into final rule.

  • Public water systems throughout the state that serve a population of 10,000 or more are required to develop a water supply service area plan by 2025. Public water systems located in the Great Lakes basin that are seeking a new or increased withdrawal, or communities seeking a diversion of Great Lakes water, must prepare a plan prior to the new or increased withdrawal or diversion. This rule will specify the procedures and requirements for these plans.
  • The proposed rule and supporting documents can be found on the State of Wisconsin Administrative Rules Water Supply Service Area Plans [exit DNR] webpage.
  • Overview of the draft rule: Water Supply Service Area Planning Factsheet [PDF]

The DNR held public hearings Dec. 14th & 15th, 2010 [PDF].

Contact: Bob Smail

Additional administrative rules

Current status: Drafting

  • Water use public participation – This rule will establish the requirements for public participation for proposals to divert Great Lakes basin water.
  • Water loss and consumptive use – This rule will establish the methods for determining the amount of water loss from different types of water use.

Contact: Nicki Clayton

Last revised: Friday January 26 2018